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Student Aid Alliance Petition

Nov. 11, 2011

I am writing to ask for your support.

You may be aware that a bipartisan Congressional Super Committee has been established to identify ways to reduce the federal deficit or increase revenue by $1.2 trillion. The committee’s report must be submitted by Thanksgiving.

I am writing to ask you to sign a petition, urging Congress to continue its funding of federal student financial aid programs. No matter where cuts are made, some people and organizations will be hurt, so I recognize the difficult task faced by the Super Committee in deciding where reductions should occur.

At the same, in an increasingly difficult economy, the need for a college education has never been more important to individuals and to our society. Although the cost of a post-secondary education is high, the long-term cost of not having a college degree is even higher. Many students can only manage their college costs with the help of federal aid programs.

The impact of cuts or elimination of student aid programs hits very close to home for me because I also received federal financial aid as a student. It was necessary in allowing me to choose a private liberal arts college. My guess is that the same is true for many of you, too, or for your SU classmates.

Susquehanna students benefit from federal grants and loans totaling nearly $22 million annually. About 75 percent of our students participate in a federal loan program and 23 percent receive Pell grants.

The Student Aid Alliance—a coalition of more than 60 higher education associations—has launched a nationwide effort to get signatories for a statement of support asking Congress to continue its funding of the federal student financial aid programs. More than 84,000 people have signed the statement since Oct. 25.

I have signed the statement and ask that you do the same. Please indicate in the “Institution” line “Susquehanna Alumni.” After you have signed it, please let your friends and family know that you did, so that they can add their support to this important effort.

If you are interested in learning more about the federal student aid programs, go to http://studentaid.ed.gov.

Many thanks for your willingness to make a difference.


L. Jay Lemons
Susquehanna University


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